I know that the like 5 people who read this probably get super excited when I read things for school and work but hey they are in fact things I read and some of them can be interesting. This one ended up being borrowed from someone at work because UNCG’s library for some bizarre reason doesn’t own a copy. I was worried it was going to be way over my head but not too bad actually. My educational psychology course helped with most of the terminology though the counseling was unfamiliar but most of it was explained in context enough that I was left with just my usual curiosity to know more rather than actual confusion. Actually probably one of the most disorienting thing was that I am currently in the office that runs the programs outlined here but a few things have changed so I had to keep them separate in my mind.
Appreciative Advising is a framework for college advising, whether it be faculty advising or recovery programs for students returning from suspension or whatever else you want to apply it to. At the core it is a strengths based approach, focusing on past successes and dreams rather than on focusing on failures which leads to a negative attitude. The system has six phases: Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, Don’t Settle. I promise not to get more technical than that.
I think one of the most important things that they emphasize is that this is not about hard and fast rules. It’s about providing a skeleton for each advisor to create a unique relationship with each student. You still accomplish things like planning next semesters schedule, but it’s a much more personalized process than prescriptive advising. To me you can see developmental advising in the roots but appreciative advising adds more of a dynamic focused on the students history as well as their future. The inherent flexibility is one of the things that really appeals to me. The idea that you are constantly reflecting and that the plan can change.
Well, here is to me getting my feet wet. I’m thinking about reading Faculty Advising Examined edited by Gary L. Kramer next, but I’m wondering if I need to do some reading in counseling first to broaden my vocabulary…